Tell us about yourself.
I am Vyom Agrawal. I hail from, Khurja, a small town of Uttar Pradesh. I completed my B.Tech in Civil Engineering from JSS Academy of Technical Education Noida in 2016. In the same year, I qualified GATE and I frankly don’t know how did it happen and went to IIT Kharagpur for my masters in Railway Engineering. Recently I have joined L&T constructions as a PGET and will be working as a Track Designer.
How did you decide between MBA and Mtech as this is one of the main confusions in Btech final year students?
these are both very different fields and it depends on a persons’ personality which one will suit them better. For me, I guess the technical field has always worked. So, I never thought about becoming an MBA. Moreover one should be very careful while taking decisions concerning higher education because it in a way sets a very concrete path to future events and possibilities. I have seen that my friends who did not want a career in civil engineering went on to take their MBA degrees.
Share your master’s journey in IIT Kharagpur
I must say, IIT Kharagpur is a place where peace meets your soul in many ways. They say, “ What happens in KGP, remains in KGP”. So true. In the first sem of M.Tech, I didn’t perform well because I couldn’t manage time for things. But after some time things started going according to me because I am not a bookworm and I was involved in many things including HALL Elections, VP Elections, swimming, sports, long chill-out sessions with my friends. I would like to say, I found my actual self in Kharagpur. I learned many things there which are very helpful for the survival in this world.
Brief us about your final year project
My final year project was in Geo-Technical Department. As I was in Railway Engineering department so I had to do something which is relevant for Railways so I adopted a topic on Ground Improvement. My project was “ Compaction characteristics of soils collected from six different locations under South Eastern Railway”. My aim was to give equations for finding maximum dry density, optimum moisture content and correlating them with the plastic limit. As it is not always feasible to conduct lab test so we can have an idea of the possible range of these characteristics on-field with the help of those equations, knowing if the soil is of that particular type.
Finding the right dissertation topic is a complex process! How do you think research scholars should approach this problem.
Yes, I completely agree with this because we are completely unaware of the things which are going to be fruitful and which are not, in the long run. But one thing that I understood is, in the first year of masters, you are exposed to many subjects. You like some of them very much and you hate some subjects like hell as well. One must follow his/her interest, read as many previous works of literature as you can on that topic, try to draw a well-explained conclusion and then think what new you can give in that zone. I did the same. And the most important thing is, there should be clarity in your thoughts and basics so that you can have a nice technical-conversation with your supervisor because until there are barriers in between your supervisor and you, nothing can be achieved
So how did L&T happen?
This is the only biggest player which undertakes the railway projects of government. I wanted to work for railways, either as a government employee or in the private sector. One day I got the news that L&T was visiting the campus. I went to my H.O.D and talked about railway business of L&T and then the day it came, I had a formal discussion with the recruiters about our railway engineering course, told them about our course content. One fine day, on our E.R.P system we got to know that it has opened for us also.
Tell us in detail about the selection process of L&T.
The selection process of L&T is very simple and crystal clear. I appeared in written test which has two parts, Technical and English. 50 questions for each part. After getting shortlisted I had to go through the interview as well. That was a typical part because I was about to give the first interview of my life and it was all technical, NO HR stuff. I was asked many questions regarding the geometric design of railway track, RDSO codes, a mini project in the first year of M.Tech and my final year thesis and how it can be used in railway.
Anything you wish you would have done differently in your professional life or anything you regret.
….Well just like most of the people, I was also a Civil Service aspirant. I always had a keen interest in the subjects of that prestigious exam. One thing I would like to say is, I never spent money on buying technical books. My table always used to be loaded up with the books like History, Geography, Economics etc. I do regret it but I will surely prepare for UPSC once in the coming years.
A word of advice to civil engineering students out there.
Enhance your thinking skills because it is not just engineering, it is Imagineering. The more innovative you are, bright will be your future. Learn as many software related to civil engineering as you can. There is a struggle in the starting years but the field serves you nicely later.
Where do you see yourself in next 5 years?
To be honest, I haven’t thought of the future. Do best in your present because it makes your future. But as I have to answer this question too, so I would like to say that, I wish to become a name of search in the google search list of best track engineers in India whether in five years or more.